In ANSYS, is there a feature similar to the Nastran PLOTEL element? i.e. can I do this by connecting selected nodes using line elements for geometry representation.

The way to emulate the Nastran PLOTEL is to use MESH200 elements with KEYOPT(1)=2. This is a 3D line element with two nodes. You can pick nodes so that you get a "stick figure" for animation. Also, you can use the SUBSET command which will load the results for the selected subset of elements/nodes.

I have enclosed a test model, 'test.dat' and the resulting animation 'file11sp1.avi'.

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